Gusserane hit a purple patch
Gusserane 0-16 Naomh Eanna 1-12
A run of nine unanswered points between the 39th and 60th minutes was the catalyst for a narrow Gusserane success in Oylegate on Saturday, ensuring they finished second in Group A of the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior football championship.
When Niall Kirwan plundered a goal for Naomh Eanna with 35 minutes gone to put the Gorey outfit 1-9 to 0-6 ahead, the O'Rahilly's looked in real trouble, but they somehow found another gear and reeled off a succession of points to turn the game on its head, with Seán O'Connor, Kevin O'Donohoe and substitute Alan Myler really stepping up to the mark.
Naomh Eanna trailed by 0-5 to 0-3 after 17 minutes, with O'Donohoe chipping over a couple of nice points for the New Ross District side, but the north county men finished the half strongly, scoring five points on the trot to take a three-point advantage into the break.
Mick Molloy knocked over three assured efforts in the first-half, while Michael Molloy matched that tally, with the pick of the bunch being a superb long-range effort midway through.
Gearóid Cullen also contributed an eye-catching score, grabbing the final point of the first period when he fetched well and launched a booming effort over the bar.
Naomh Eanna looked to have struck the killer blow in the 36th minute when a Seán Delaney effort at a point fell short and the alert Niall Kirwan was on hand to fist the ball to the net.
However, Gusserane refused to throw in the towel, and not only clawed their way back, but took control, with Alan Myler and Seán O'Connor slotting over three points apiece, Kevin O'Donohoe adding two, and Darragh Doyle also finding the range as they raced into a 0-15 to 1-9 advantage with normal time almost up.
The Gorey side rallied to get within a point, with substitutes Paul Timmins and Cillian Donohoe splitting the posts, but Alan Myler steadied the Gusserane ship with his fourth point.
A Patrick Dwyer score deep into injury time made it a one-point game again, but Gusserane held on to take runners-up spot in the group, while Naomh Eanna also progress to the quarter-finals, having finished in fourth place.
Gusserane: Brian Hennessy; Eoghan Foran, Donal Kinsella, Stephen Whelan; James Redmond, Cathal Somers, Robert Browne; Tommy Ryan, Ciarán Conway (capt.); Eoin Codd, Kevin O'Donohoe (0-4), Darragh Doyle (0-2); Ger Wallace, Seán O'Connor (0-5, 1 free), Jack Culleton (0-1). Subs. - Alan Myler (0-4) for Wallace, John Roche for Doyle, inj., Oisín Foran for Culleton, Seamus Murphy for O'Donohoe.
Naomh Eanna: Kenneth Byrne; John Doyle, Nathan Byrne, John Lillis; Evan O'Dwyer, Simon Doran (capt.), Michael Bernie; Tom Stafford, Mick Molloy (0-3, 2 frees); Michael Molloy (0-4, 1 free), Dara McDonald, Seán Delaney; Gearóid Cullen (0-1), Niall Kirwan (1-0), John O'Brien (0-1). Subs. - Martin O'Donnell for Lillis, Paul Timmins (0-1) for Cullen, Cillian Donohoe (0-1) for Kirwan, Ian Parle for O'Brien, Patrick Dwyer (0-1) for Doyle.
Referee: Roly Buckley (Ballyhogue).